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m0 villaraigosa. >> cenk: i know what you're thinking. where can i get more "the young turks"? i'm glad you asked. tonight we have a whole other online show at young and if you go to the young you'll have more. >> i saw a blond woman thrash a bunch of guys on tv this morning and it took me an hour to realize it was hillary clinton and not "kill bill part one." and the first ceo of whole foods thought obama-care was socialism. now he thinks it's fascism. now the produce in his store the man likes to keep his ignorance fresh. thom hartmann joins us on this. and today is the birthday of
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l.a. mayor antonio villaraigosa, and late e street bande boardist dan dan, and the guy who played macgyver and today is the 276th birthday of john hancock whose last words were, hey i didn't sign on for this. this is "viewpoint." >> good evening, i'm john fugelsang. thank you some forgoing us tonight. the 216th presidential campaign kicked off today. just after president obama took a public oath of office to start his second term in the white house. today secretary of state hillary clinton testified for the second time before stepping down for well-deserved rest. the topic, of course, it was the the 2011 2011 benghazi attack in
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libya that killed four americans including ambassador stevens. they were waiting for hillary clinton so they could forward the love of chris christie that they hate. today secretary clinton was wrapping up her current job with this forth right testimony. >> as i have said many times i take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right. i am determined to leave the state department and our country safer, stronger and more secure. >> john: secretary clinton later gave way to a rare display of public emotion when she talked about the risk that men and women of the foreign service
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take for our country. >> for me this is not just a matter of policy. it's personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> john: but for some republicans the issue wasn't the sacrifice americans make overseas but performing a human sacrifice of what was left of susan rice's reputation. as you'll recall there were over 20 protests against americans in the middle east that day related to a video. her comments were based on talking points prepared and approved by u.s. intelligence officials. just don't tell that to senator john mccain. he may have to switch his anger button to off. >> the american people deserve
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to know answers and they certainly don't deserve false answers. the answers given to the american people on september 15th by the ambassador of the united nations were false. >> john: that's mccain still trying to win the respect of his own party. they were even more incensed over rice's alleged efforts to mislead the american public during an election year, no less to no apparent logical reason. >> again, we were misled there was supposedly protest and then something sprang out of that. an all the sprang out of that. that was easily ascertainable. that was not the fact and the american people could have known that for days. >> with all due respect the fact is we had four dead americans. whether it was because of a protest or because guys out for a walk and they decided to go kill some americans. what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what
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happened and do everything we can to prevent from ever happening again senator. >> john: illinois senator dick durbin was more direct in defense of ambassador rice and brought up a misleading comment that many would like to perfect. >> i think some of the criticism heaped on her was unfair. and did not reflect the fact that she was reporting the best information she had available at the time. i do want to make one point for the record here about whether the american people are told everything right away in the right way so that they can be fully informed? i would like to refer to five words for them to reflect on. iraqi weapons of mass destruction. >> john: scare yes words the george w. bush administration never apologized for which no one ever take responsibility for which didn't stop rand paul
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trying to make secretary hillary clinton personally responsible for benghazi when the board cleared her. >> i'm glad you're accepting responsibility. i think that all thely with your leaving you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11 i really mean that. had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. i think it's inexcuse cuesible. >> john: that's rand paul getting his in for 2016. i'm thrilled to be joined by tj crowley. thank you so much for joining us this evening. >> a through, john. >> john: i want to get your take on this. did these hearings seem to be more about what happened in four years than what happened in benghazi last fall? >> it's a mix.
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certainly as your clip showed, some senators and some representatives who just haven't got past september 15th. by the same token there were some from both parties who took the same forward-looking perspective that secretary clinton has and say what does benghazi tell us about the dynamic of the region and the danger of al-qaeda. how do you connect what happened to libya to what is happening in mali and recently in algeria? i think that's the kind of perspective that we need as we continue to sort through what happened. while she testified today, there is still many things that we don't know. particularly who did it and why they did it. that's still subject of the fbi investigation. >> john: as we just heard senator paul called secretary clinton's actions inexcusable
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and said she did not read her cables. >> any requests, any of the cables having to do with security did not come to my attention. 1.43 million cables come through the state department. they're all addressed to me. >> cenk: does that make sense to you? is that fair? >> sure, i've heard political hyperbole that suggests that the tragic death of four americans in benghazi rivals in some way to 9/11 in terms of its impact forgetting about afghanistan. 20,000 soldiers were dead. iraq where 4,000 soldiers died in service the country. i think it's ridiculous. i was an assistant secretary of state, and the secretary paid me and others of my colleagues to sort through information that came through our respective channels and report to her issues of significance and
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particularly issues that couldn't be resolveed at a lower level. i mean, obviously as the accountability review board indicated there were mistakes made. there were misjudgments made, and under estimations of the danger posed to chris stevens and others in benghazi, but these kinds of security decisions were made not in the floor where secretary clinton resides but at the sixth floor at my level, and based on their professional expertise. >> john: i couldn't agree more sir. a lot of watch watching had to recall in 2001 when warning bin laden's attacked in the u.s. that was ignored and we all know that condoleezza rice ended up being promoted. no one took responsibility. no one said the buck stops here. is it fair to say that some of our republican friends on the hill are hypocritical at worst
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and amnesia at best. >> i disagree with what you just said. yes, you know, there were warning signs prior to 9/11 just as they were warning signs prior to benghazi. i do not see that there was any one action that could have prevented what happened on-- >> john: which i'm not suggesting. >> and i think there were a combination of miscalculations made. by the same tone there was a question posed by a representative this afternoon from south carolina. i didn't like the contest that he put it, but he said what in the world was important that brought chris stevens to benghazi? that is a very important question. the answer was as we're working through a post-conflict very dangerous very unpredictable situation benghazi was important as we worked with the libyans to
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move them forward. the american government was there and the american people represented trying to help libyans advance. that's why chris stevens was there. he understood better than anybody else the dangers involved. this is something that we'll try to ur utmost in theture to mitigate but we'll never get the danger to zero. >> john: you heard her say that she took responsibility, something that we didn't hear in the previous administration after the 9/11 or the mds. >> i don't want to put as hillary clinton said today. we should not put this in a political lens. there were people who tried to score points and they'll do so in the future. this is about what can we do to not only keep our diplomats and our soldiers safe, but also advance the interests of the united states around the world.
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this is dangerous business. we have to recognize--some of us say soldiers go to war they're in danger. what will diplomats? they're in danger, too. chris stevens was there serving the united states. they were in danger and they knew it and unfortunately tragically they gave their lives for our country. >> john: i certainly respect your point on that. i would like to play another sound bite from senator paul where he accuses secretary clinton for failing to fulfill her responsibilities at the highest level. >> i don't think you were willfully. i don't suspect your motives for wanting to serve serve your country. but it was a failure of leadership. >> john: was it a failure of leadership or is this the way
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that bureaucracy sends to work. >> it's the way the world operates. we've had embassies attacked many times in the past. we've made security improvements in many places around the world. but to emphasize again you can never ever totally eliminate the risk involved. you can do that but that means either we don't have diplomats in critical places where we need them, or they're there but they're staying behind tall walls and glass barriers and unable to function and unable to do what we expect them to do. in these post conflict situations there is still an enormous work to do in a lengthy period of time to do it. we attack these issues as a whole of government. in afghanistan today we have soldiers, we have diplomats, we have development experts agriculture experts legal experts, tomorrow they could step on a landmine, they could
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be kidnapped. they could be shot. that's the nature of warfare and conflict that we deal with in many places around the world. >> john: i would like to switch topics to yesterday's israeli's yesterday. it appears that benjamin netanyahu has the best chance of getting in. what do you think the results mean for the chances of restoring a palestinian-israeli peace process. >> he has difficult decisions to make. his coalition was the largest vote cutter, so he has the right to form a government. john he could move right he could move left. i don't know what he's going to do. but you're right the decision that he makes will say a lot about the policy options that he's going to pursue. if he moves right there is virtually no chance of a palestinian-peace progress. but if he moves left he'll have to make political concessions to
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form that kind of coalition. >> john: pj crowley sir, it's always such a bear to bear witness to your experience and wisdom. thank you for your time. >> thanks, john. >> john: thank you. with congress back in session it's time for an annual tradition that i always annually personally observe watching democrats cave. that's next. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it.
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it. really? you're going to lay people off because now the government is going to help you fund your healthcare. really? i want to have those conversations, not to be confrontational, but to understand what the other side is saying, and i'd like to arm our viewers with the ability to argue with their conservative uncle joe over the dinner table. >> john: i love democrats. shoot, we all do. but if there is one thing that democrats do really well, it's under cutting their own ideas. take for instance, raising the debt ceiling. something that everyone agrees need to be done. well, good news. by a vote of 285-144 today the house passed a bill raising the debt ceiling until may. but due to a provision that would withhold congressional pay if a budget isn't approved this year. 111 democrats voted against
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raiding the debt ceiling calling that provision a gimmick. however, it goes well beyond the house. today senator dick durbin revealed the democrats don't have the 51 votes necessary to reinstitute the talking filibuster even through the so-called nuclear option, even though everyone seems to want it. the last hope in filibuster reform is harry reid's great compromise of needing 41 votes to maintain a filibuster but i'm confident that the democrats will find some way to back down from that, too. joining me now the only one and only michael tomasky. starting with the debt ceiling. 111 democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling. was this all about the no budget no pay provision are the democrats trying to stick it to the g.o.p. >> i think the latter and i think the more constitutionalists among them
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assuming that they are there that the amendment mattered more to them. but emotionally they probably wanted to make boehner pass this bill with his republicans. you know in a way don't blame them for that. it's a harmless game. there are harmful games and harmless games. that was a relatively harmless one. obama also supported the passage of this, john, i think that if it had been in danger i think enough democrats would have switched over and voted yes. i think they were just trying to make a point. >> john: that makes me feel better. but let me ask you something the number one criticism from my republican friends has been so budget has been passed. why can't you democrats pass a budget how shameful. how should democrats respond to this? >> well, it is true that they haven't passed a budget. you can say that matters or it doesn't matter that much because
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they operate these days on the continuous resolutions so on and so forth. it does put a little bit of pressure on the senate democrats to do this. but of course this is another thing where you can just just--nothing is written in concrete. you can pass a budget that says we are going to have revenues and it's going to be x amount of revenues and you don't even have to specify where the revenues are going to come from. yes, a shirking of responsibility over the years on the senate's part, but a relatively minor one. >> john: they're paying the bills. and really considering the obstructionism they have faced under the g.o.p. under this president obama i don't what the point of releasing a budget would be, they know it would be blocked no matter what. >> exactly right. the things get funded any way. they get funded through continuing resolutions. it's not the best way to do business but the national parks
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stay open. >> john: i agree. turning to the filibuster then, when dick durban said that democrats don't have the votes to reinstate the talking filibusters is that because 51 democrats don't support reinstating it or they don't favor reinstating it through the nuclear option? >> i think it's more of the latter. i think a certain number, not a huge number but a smaller number probably chiefly from red states. look at the democrats who are up for re-election and look at how serious of a race those people face that's where you'll find your people. along with a handful of very serious followers of senate rules. serious students of robert byrd of who carl levin is apparently one. who will oppose doing it through a simple majority way and would rather do it the old fashioned way, which would require
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two-thirds, the old fashioned way would be great. but the old fashion way has died as we have seen time and time again over the past few years. >> john: in more legislative news harry reid said he would open up the gun legislation to amendments. is this a way to encourage support from senators who might otherwise not have supported it but allowing them to put in their amendments? isn't this really bribes for votes? >> yes, but that's what the job is isn't it? i mean, that's how you do these things. you let them vote for an amendment that says, well, my amendment would have curtailed x. but they can stand up and say that and maybe you'll get a vote for the whole package. i think the bottom line on all of these things, john, remains public opinion. we often think public opinion doesn't really matter, but i really think public opinion actually does matter. if it didn't make a difference
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we wouldn't see 42 republicans vote for a tax increase in the fiscal cliff deal, we wouldn't have seen the republican party back off attaching a debt limit vote to severe spending cuts. they were feeling the heat of public opinion and to some extent of lead opinion, wall street opinion and corporate opinion and so forth on these matters. public opinion does make a difference. supports bomb on guns by and large. supports obama on revenues i think ultimately public opinion will make a difference. >> john: and they support on filibuster reform as well. i hope harry reid can hear you. michael tomasky always a pleasure to have you. you made me feel a little better. you really did. i didn't think it was possible. >> that's why i'm here.
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>> john: the one and only michael tomasky. thank you for coming on again. >> thanks a lot. >> the right wing has a new word word, fascism. unfortunately they think it only applies to other people. [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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